“You should never ask a lady her age.” That phrase has been around for a long time. I both agree and disagree with it. Personally I think it should be “You don’t need to ask anyone their age.”
Age is one of the million useless bits of information that we put far too much importance in. There are very few instances where age should matter. Outside of knowing whether someone is old enough to legally do something, there isn’t much need to know someone’s age, and it really doesn’t mean much.
Society has put all sorts of ideas into our heads about age. Some examples:
A person under 18 is immature. – Developmentally speaking this may be true, but I have seen plenty of people 18 and younger who were smarter and more mature than people twice their age.
People in their 20’s are irresponsible. – Maybe some are, but plenty of people older than that who are too. Being irresponsible or acting up isn’t limited to any age group.
People in the 30-40 bracket are more responsible and mature. – See the first two examples.
People over 50 are boring or out of touch. – Not always true. Some people who are 50+ are living their lives with more gusto and are more informed than people half their age.
Why does age matter anyone? Who decided at what point we become “old” or “mature” or “too old”? There’s no one-size fits all for any of that. Why do people need to attach perceptions and labels to people based on a number? Why do people attach labels to themselves at certain ages?
I don’t understand why anyone would be ashamed of a certain age. Why do women want to stop admitting their age after 35? Who cares? You’re you at any age, and you may be more youthful and amazing at 45 than you were at 25. Men don’t just get better with age, some do and some don’t. All age does is tell people how many years you’ve managed to survive on this planet. It means nothing more than that unless you allow it to.
I joke that I’m 30 and holding, not because I’m ashamed of my age, but because I think that’s a good age and I don’t want to feel older. I may make the same joke when I’m 50, and I hope I can. I don’t really care what other people think of my age. Their perceptions are their problem. Being 36 doesn’t bother me. I’m as young or old as I feel, that number is just my survival stat.
How do you feel about age? Do you think it should be really important, or that people should care about it less? Do you have a positive or negative emotional attachment to your number?